Deciding to invest in an above-ground pool is one thing. Figuring out what your yard should look like with an above-ground pool in it? That’s another. Because while pools are show-stoppers in any backyard, they’re not the only thing there. Without the right landscaping, a pool can feel out of place—or maybe even in competition with the elements around it.
Thankfully, this fate is pretty easy to avoid. With a little care and creativity, you can make your pool feel like part of the landscape. And you don’t have to splurge to make it happen.
To show just how easy above-ground pool landscaping can be, we’ve rounded up 18 yards that have pulled it off masterfully. In some cases, people merely lined their pools with flowers. In others, they reenvisioned the whole yard. But in every case, they softened the transition between the pool and the yard—making the pool feel like a feature, and not a last-minute addition.
Line Your Pool With Palm Trees
Make your backyard feel like a getaway by planting palm trees around your pool. The tropical plants won’t hold up in every climate, but if you live somewhere with hot summers and mild winters, snagging a set of pretty palms will make you feel like you’re on vacation every time you take a dip.
Frame Your Pool With Flower Pots
Landscaping isn’t just about putting stuff in the ground. If your patio is covered with stone, wood, or tile, look for other ways to introduce greenery into your space. Score a set of planters that match your patio, and fill each one with flowers. These flower pots can do the work of traditional landscaping, dressing up the edges of your pool without being planted in the ground.
Go All in on Grass
When it comes to landscaping, grass may seem like a boring option. But it’s a classic for a reason. When you climb out of the pool—and your feet are cold and wet—stepping on soft grass feels really good. So, keep your landscaping simple, and go all in on grass. (Your feet will thank you later.)
Plant Cacti Along Your Steps
One easy place to put plants? Along a staircase. If there’s a set of stairs leading into your pool, line one side of it with succulents and cacti.
Since the slow-growing plants aren’t prone to sprawl, you won’t have to worry about them spilling onto your steps and tripping you up.
Line Your Pool With Ivy
Turn your pool into a fairytale-worthy oasis by lining the outside of it with ivy. Since ivy grows so quickly, it will do most of the work for you. Just plant it at the base of your pool—and be sure to trim it once it reaches the top.
Create a Fence of Flowers
If you want to fence off your pool without building a full-blown fence, line the outside of your pool with tall flowers. The flowers will create a boundary between your pool at the rest of your yard without blocking off your pool or obstructing your view.
Let Grass Peek Through Your Pavers
Pavers—or paving stones—are great for creating pathways, and those pathways can be as neat and tidy as you want them to be. Pair geometric tiles with grout to create sleek, orderly pathways. If you want something more organic, snag a set of uneven paving stones and let plants grow between them.
Sneak a Flower Bed Inside Your Patio
Low on green space? Build a flower bed into your patio. You can do this the easy way, building a raised bed that sits on top of your patio. Or you can do it the hard way—carving out part of your patio and building a flower bed inside it.
Let Vines Creep Up Your Backyard Walls
Set the scene in your outdoor space by letting vines climb all over your fence and your backyard walls. This landscaping choice won’t take much effort: Just plant the vines, and let them do their thing. But it will totally transform your outdoor space, even if you decide not to plant anything else.
Flank Your Pool With Snake Plants
Your pool is packed with natural focal points like entrances, waterfalls, stairs, and slides. These architectural features already draw the eye. But, by framing them with snake plants—or other easy-to-grow plants—you can dress them up, making them even more striking than they already are.
Plant Monkey Grass Everywhere
Monkey grass is a go-to in lots of outdoor spaces. Why? It’s low-maintenance and easy to grow. So when in doubt, put monkey grass everywhere. Since the plant doesn’t get too unruly, it’ll look great lining your fences, your walls, and the edges of your pool.
Build a Garden Below Your Pool
Instead of lining the outside of your pool with plants, build a garden right next to it. By designing a garden that’s a different size or shape than your pool, you can add some eye-catching contrast to your outdoor space.
Let Flowers Drape Over Your Pool Walls
Make your pool feel ultra-romantic by lining its edges with flowers—and letting those flowers drape over the sides of your pool. If your pool walls are thick, this is easy to pull off: just top the walls with planters full of dangling flowers.
If your pool walls are thin, you’re not out of luck. Plant flowering vines at the base of your pool walls and let them climb to the top.
Pair Short Plants With Tall Plants
When mixing and matching different plants, be sure to play with height. Tall plants—like shrubs and trees—look great lining fences, where they can add privacy and sound insulation without obstructing your view. Shorter plants—like grasses and flowers—are ideal for the other sides of your pool, where they can dress up your yard without closing anything off.
Sneak a Garden Between Your House and Your Pool
If your pool and your home are just feet apart, consider tucking a garden between the two. The feature will instantly dress up your yard. And it’s a welcome alternative to what would otherwise be a plain ol’ patch of grass.
Alternate Between Grass and Paving Stones
Remember that you don’t have to seal your paving stones with grout. Instead, you can space out your pavers and let grass grow between them. This approach is great if you want a defined pathway and a yard that still feels lush and green. By alternating between grass and pavers, you can get both—and you’ll end up with an outdoor space that looks lovely.
Give Yourself a Great View
Landscaping isn’t just about sticking a ton of plants in your backyard—it’s about making the most of what you have. So if you’ve been blessed with a great view, use your landscaping to accentuate it. Stay away from tall shrubs and bushy trees, which might obstruct your view. And stick to shorter, sleeker plants that will dress up your yard without taking away any of its advantages.
Mix and Match Your Plant Selection
Picking one plant—and sticking to it—is an easy way to create clean, cohesive landscaping. But if you like lots of different plants, don’t hold yourself back. Plant flowers along the edges of your pool. Plant bushes by your pathways. And sprinkle in a few trees for good measure.
The goal is to end up with something you love, so don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, you can always dig up your mistakes and try something new.